Article by Jacob Babcock, CEO at NuCurrent Inc:
Lithium-ion batteries have significantly longer lifespans when they are recharged mid-drain (50%) as opposed to full-drain (0%). This is the conclusion drawn by EE Times in Max Maxfield’s recent article.
If you are like me, you are frustrated when your smartphone’s battery has dramatically reduced performance after 10-12 months of use. At first, my phone will last all day and still have 15% in the tank by the time I go to sleep. Around the 1-year mark, I have to carry an auxiliary battery charger around or else my phone will be dead by 5 pm.
I don’t have this problem now that I use a wireless charger everyday at home and work. Due to the convenience, I’m “topping up” throughout the day, and that is a key contributor to my consistently-full battery.
However, my phone lasts longer without intermittent wireless charging sessions too. When I’m travelling and not near my wireless chargers, my 11-month-old Samsung Galaxy S6 (with wireless charging) lasts full days, whereas my previous phones (mostly a mix of iPhones and Motorola devices) would’ve been on battery life support by this age.
Can wireless charging really be healthier for batteries? Based on EE Time’s article, conferring with the engineering experts at NuCurrent/customers, and my personal experience, I believe the answer is “yes”.
- Wireless charging is used throughout the day unlike wired-charging. Most wired-charging happens when batteries are “red” or below the 20% threshold. Under 20%, many people experience “Low Battery Anxiety Disorder”, “Powernoia”, or “Nomophobia” – in other words, they need to find an outlet STAT.
- People using wireless charging, however, tend to have chargers located in the places they spend their most time – home, car, office, coffee shop. When I sit at my desk, my phone is charging (whether it starts at 50% or 10%). When I’m at Starbucks, I’ll charge my phone because it’s convenient, free and nice to have a top up. As EE Times points out, recharging mid-drain is better for the health of your battery than recharging from full-drain. People using wireless chargers are more likely to stay topped-up throughout the day with mid-drain charging.
Finally, EE Times also concludes that it is important to stop charging your battery once it reaches its full state. Both Qi and AirFuel protocols automatically stop battery charging once the battery is full. Problem solved.
At the end of the day, wireless charging is about convenience, improving devices and becoming less reliant on finding the nearest outlet. Knowing that it can be better for the longevity of your battery/device is a nice plus.